Thanks to years of reading about the grim consequences of human-made climate change, I’ve reconciled myself to bigger and scarier droughts, tornadoes, and thunderstorms here in North Texas. But not earthquakes. Nobody said ground-rattlers would become a regular part of my pending life as a retiree/misanthropic hoarder around these parts. And yet, a 2.6 magnitude earthquake was registered this morning just 17 miles north of Fort Worth. Fifteen years ago, this would’ve been a big deal, as in headline news writ with a tall bold font style. But the locals have become so accustomed to hearing about earthquakes in the area, nobody really blinks anymore. (Six minor quakes were recorded in North Texas last week alone.)

Experts point to natural gas drilling –– or more accurately, the underground disposal of waste water created by drilling –– as the cause of more frequent and gradually more severe earthquakes in North Texas. While the Barnett Shale “gold rush” may be over, the earthquakes aren’t. I surely hope the same emergency protocols for how to survive a rampaging tornado apply to a devastating earthquake, because this Texas-bred guy may not have enough brain cells left to absorb complicated new survival procedures. When in doubt, I always just “stop, drop, roll” and hope for the best.